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December 22, 2015
Reflecting On My Year - By Kathy Ivan
1. Quitting the day job.
One year ago, I made the decision to leave my full-time job and write books for a living. You have no idea how big a decision this was, because at the time I only had four books published (two full length and two novellas). They definitely weren't bringing in enough to cover the loss of salary by any stretch of the imagination. But, I'll be honest—the stress from the day job was slowly killing me. Between the diabetes and high blood pressure and major stressors, my life wasn't pretty. Since then, I've written more and loved every minute of it. While there are always stressors in life, it's so much less now. In 2015 I released three books in the New Orleans Connection Series and six books in the Lovin' Las Vegas series, and one book in a boxed set, Mischief Under the Mistletoe. (There's a new Vegas book coming out in January—it would have been December, but didn't quite make it before the holiday shutdown at the vendors.)
2. Starting a new series and a new genre. In 2015, I branched out into a new series, the Lovin' Las Vegas series, which are contemporary romances/romantic comedy. It's been fun because I never knew that I could add comedic elements to my stories and people would actually like them and find them funny. But they do!
3. Making the USA TODAY Bestsellers list. This was one of my goals, high up on my bucket list, and I knew that I'd make it one day. Luckily, this happened in November, with the release of Mischief Under The Mistletoe. My story, Yours For The Holidays was part of this box set and we reached #67 on the USA TODAY list. It was a surreal moment, and I'm loving every minute of it. And being able to add that moniker to my author bio—thrilling! (And if you look at the cover above, you'll see it right there -- front and center!)
4. Making new friends, both personally and professionally. This year I've tried to reach out and be more social. Working the day job as a medical transcriptionist, I was pretty much housebound in front of my computer for 8-10 hours a day staring at a computer screen with headphones attached to my head. And then I had to write. When was a gal supposed to socialize? But I've made more of an effort this year and I can say it's been great. And I plan on being more outgoing (which for those of you who know me is hard because I am an extreme introvert—the kind who doesn't talk much until I get to know you well). I'm getting better about that. Watch out 2016!
Those are just a few of the highlights of my 2015. You should see my list of goals for 2016—it's even bigger than 2015's.
What about you? What were some of the things that had the biggest impact on your life in 2015, either personally or professionally? Post them in the comments, so we can all celebrate where we've been and where we're headed in the New Year.